- The Washington Times - Friday, May 1, 2015

The White House said Friday that President Obama’s visit to Nike headquarters in Oregon next week is unrelated to the company’s $50 million contribution to first lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign for kids.

Asked whether Nike’s generosity was behind the White House’s selection of the company for a presidential visit, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said “not that I’m aware of.” He said the president will visit the company to talk about free trade.

“The president’s event next week will not be focused on Let’s Move, it will actually be focused on the benefits of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the opportunity that exists for companies to benefit from expanded access to overseas markets,” Mr. Earnest said.

Asked by a reporter whether Mr. Obama directed his staff to choose Nike, Mr. Earnest said, “I don’t have any private conversations to share with you.”

In 2013, Nike Inc. President Mark Parker joined Mrs. Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan in Chicago to announce Nike’s $50 million commitment over five years to encourage children to increase their physical activity.

Since then, Mr. Earnest said, he doesn’t know whether Mrs. Obama “has been out there to visit Nike in conjunction with the Let’s Move campaign or not.”

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